Beyond your body – to a positive mind
When trying to fall pregnant, there is typically a strong emphasis on the body’s physiological system.
Social media, in particular, is swarming with this. You only need to follow fertility Instagram accounts to see #fertilitydiet and #ovulationtracking taking centre stage under each snap.
What’s more, the various theories on how to increase fertility are endless and overwhelming.
But as research continually shows, excessively focusing on your body – and ‘perfecting’ your physical system for fertility – can actually hinder your chances of falling pregnant.
How stress affects you
Trying to fall pregnant can leave you and your partner with negative feelings, which can lead to high levels of psychological distress.
And it’s not just in your head. These emotions trigger real biological reactions.
When your body is stressed, it can suppress the luteinising hormone, increase serum cortisol levels and inhibit the gonadotropin-releasing hormone.
These responses can reduce egg quality, delay the release of eggs and inhibit implantation. Together, they can decrease your chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy.
So it’s essential that you look after your mind during this challenging period – just as much as you care for your body. That’s because our minds and bodies are not isolated systems, but interconnected entities that must be considered holistically.
Caring for your mental health while trying to fall pregnant
There are lots of things you can do to look after your emotional wellbeing while trying to conceive. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Treat yourself
It’s crucial that you treat yourself, just like you would a friend, during this testing time.
And remember, self-care looks different for everyone. Perhaps it’s running yourself a warm, scented bath at the end of the day. Or spending time alone. Or exercising with friends.
Think about what works for you.
2. Try to focus on the present
You can’t change the past or control the future – so do your best to stay in the moment more often. A consistent attempt to stay mindful could make a big difference to your anxiety levels.
If you need some guidance, a meditation app is a great starting point.
3. Talk to yourself
We give pep talks to our friends when we want to cheer them up. But do you ever do the same for yourself? It can be a powerful way to boost your mood.
And the best part? You can do it whenever you want – wherever you want.
4. Dive into your work
Distraction can be a superpower in your fertility journey. It can help relieve your mind, give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence.
And what better way than by immersing yourself in your work?
5. Talk to others
It can seem scary. But sharing your fertility journey with others can open you up to a world of support – one you might not even know you have.
Talking about our struggles gives them less power. And while friends and family are often a comfortable place to start, talking to a professional psychologist can make a world of difference.
But a psychologist is more than a warm, open ear. They can also help you cope with stress, explore alternative fertility options and prepare emotionally for treatments such as IVF.
With a professional by your side, you’ll also learn effective strategies to navigate the fertility rollercoaster. That might be coping with the impact on your relationships – or emotions around other people’s pregnancies, births and children.
If you want to know more about how you can use your mind to improve your fertility outcomes, our qualified psychologists are here to help. Call us on 1300 995 636 today.